Protests were staged at many places in the U.S including the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan demanding justice for the 19-year-old Hathras gangrape victim. A group of NRI Ambedkarites came together under the banner of Ambedkar International Mission (AIM) to protest the atrocity. The group has demanded justice for the victim and her family through a fair and speedy investigation and trial of the perpetrators, urging for stringent action against the officials who are allegedly protecting the accused.
On Sunday, nearly 50 people took to the streets at Times Square and in front of the United Nations Headquarters in New York city with placards and slogans demanding justice for the raped and murdered nineteen-year-old Hathras victim. Protests were also carried out at Independence Hall in Philadelphia and in Detroit, Michigan.
In a press statement AIM appealed to the international community and the United Nations to take cognizance of atrocities against Dalits in India.
“This barbaric incident of Hathras, further compounded with unabashed complicity from police and the government, has enraged and shaken the NRI Dalit community. The immediate and long-term consequences of this savagery, namely, institutionalizing a dystopian callousness towards the safety and survival of the Dalits in India, compelled us to come out and express our outrage and apprehensions. Through this protest, we also appeal to the international community and the United Nations Human Rights Council for their support in the struggle against rampant atrocities on Dalits in India,” the statement read.
The protesters have demanded that the Indian government grant protection to Dalits under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, ensure that the accused are tried without any special interests and influence and provide monetary compensation to the victim’s family.
The Times Square protest was captured and transmitted live by the Live Stream of Times Square.
“This Hathras episode is a dark one in recent history of India’s Dalit atrocity saga. The administration’s conduct in this matter not only dares to obliterate our sacred constitution, but gives India a bad name in the outside world,” Deven Wahane, a resident of New Jersey said.
Milind Awasarmol another NRI said that it was shocking to note that the victim’s family was being tormented. “The shocking thing is that the accused are being protected by the administration and the deceased victim’s family is being tormented. We want the legal system to work according to our constitution and not any ideology unsuitable for modern civil society,” Awasarmol said.
AIM is also submitting petitions to international human rights organisations including the UN and Amnesty International demanding their intervention to seek justice for the victim’s family.
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